Established in 2016, the Archaeological Sciences lab provides training and research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students interested in archaeological or physical anthropological research, particularly those interested in utilizing zooarchaeological and isotopic methods. Directed by Dr. Nawa Sugiyama, the Archaeological Sciences Lab is located at the Krasnow Institute of Advanced Studies building.
The lab is currently establishing a comparative zoology collection to conduct zooarchaeological analysis on past societies to reconstruct ancient human-animal relationships, subsistence strategies, and environmental changes. In addition the lab can provide training for students interested in learning to prepare archaeological and modern specimens of bones, teeth, shells, plants, hair/fur, and skin. Chemical signatures of these products encode paleodiets, migration patterns, and environmental conditions of animals and humans. With the continued collaboration with Dr. Christine France from the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Conservation Institute, we are able to analyze the carbon (13C/12C), nitrogen (15N/14N) and oxygen (18O/16O) isotopes by examining collagen, apatite and phosphate samples.
Research and Teaching
Dr. Sugiyama is currently accepting undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing zooarchaeological and/or stable isotopic analysis during their archaeological or physical anthropological training. In addition, Dr. Sugiyama has an active field project at the Classic Mesoamerican site of Teotihuacan, Mexico, and is encouraging students searching for laboratory and field opportunities both at George Mason University and on-site in Mexico to contact her directly for addition information.
April 26, 2016